The Great Stripping of the Lord

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. – Psalm 32:8 NIV

In the days of our deepest troubles we often feel most alone. Somehow the people we depend on, and the things we cling to are stripped away. We feel abandoned, lonely, and forsaken.

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

I call it the Great Stripping of the Lord. It is the time when clarity is needed. When God will put us through the fire, refine us like silver, and draw us out into this life as a shinier and holier you and me.


Oh, we desire God to work his fiery ways. We are sick and tired of who we are, what we think, and what we’ve done. Yet despite our disgust, we are caught before God has a chance to stoke the flames.


We can’t seem let go of who, or what God has peeled away. We say, “God, I am losing this marriage, this child, my health, please don’t close the door on this friendship too, or remove these things that have given me peace.”


We cling to our earthbound treasures as if our lives depend on them. We wail that we can’t possibly go through our misery alone, so we wrestle in self-pity over what’s been lost, and shout at God for his cruelty.


Just a few months before my most desperate hour, the Lord moved my family and me three thousand miles away from family and friends. I knew no one. And when the pain rained down, and I tried to reach back across the miles, God promptly closed the door.


I had only one direction I could go to save me, and the situation I was in – straight into the arms of Jesus.


And as the weeks and months rolled on with God as my only companion, I understood that his great stripping was absolutely necessary. For I would have replaced him with any self-help book, Internet article, or person who would hear my tale of woe.


That is not to say God doesn’t use people and the words of this world to bring about reconcilliation, but they are under his direction – not ours.


For our magnificent Lord, the Creator of all things, considers our troubles. His heart and mind turn over and over the heartbreak of our soul. Our adversities are known to him. He is mindful of every thought and circumstance. He wants us to cultivate his disposition through our trials and sufferings.


And like when a child’s things are removed to bring about a change in attitude, the Lord will take away those things that distracts us from him.


Let’s not be too sad when we see things go away, for I have learned that once the clamity is over, he lovingly brings an abundance of treasures for our odedience.

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

2 Replies

  1. Devery

    It is just as you said….the unpleasant striping, but then comes the miraculous revelation of how come! I love it…at least the last part.

    1. I’m right there with you! Love his mercy and revelation, but would rather skip the stripping! Thanks for commenting.

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